Most of us have had to deal with a long appointment wait time at one point or another. It’s frustrating, to say the least, especially when you’ve put your day on hold and arrived punctually. Some interesting new research indicates it’s more than frustrating, though, and can actually shape how you feel about your physician when you’re not seen promptly. It could also have an impact on your overall health.
Long Appointment Wait Times Impact Your Perception of Quality
Research recently published by Vitals identified a number of factors patients look for when determining the quality of their care. While attentiveness of the doctor was certainly among them, office cleanliness, friendly receptionists, and yes, a long appointment wait time, impact perception as well. Overall, about 84% of people surveyed said that the punctuality of the office was either somewhat or very important to their overall perception.
As Wait Times Increase, Ratings Drop
Interestingly, delays are a major predictor in the rating patients give facilities too. For example, hospitals with five-star ratings have an average wait of 13 minutes and 17 seconds. Those with four-star ratings have average waits of 21 minutes and 32 seconds. If a few more seconds pass, bringing the clock to 22 minutes and 11 seconds, the average rating is three stars. Not surprisingly, one-star hospitals cross the 30-minute-mark.
Delays Cause Many to Leave and/or Find a New Doc
The perception of quality based on delays is a problem by itself, but what happens next is even more concerning. Patients don’t just suck it up and wait. They leave. Around 1-in-5 has switched physicians due to lengthy delays and 30% have walked out of an office because it took too long to be seen. From a physician standpoint, this is alarming and needs to be addressed, but what’s arguably more worrisome is that these are patients leaving without necessary and vital care.
Illinois Residents Face Long Doctor Wait Times
While our neighbors to the north in Wisconsin have the shortest delays in the country, with patients being seen in about 15 minutes, Illinois residents wait more than 18. Those visiting a primary care physician in Chicago can expect to wait nearly 22 minutes at each appointment. Considering Milwaukee sits at about 16 and Minneapolis leads the nation at 14 minutes, 44 seconds, physicians in Illinois can and should be doing better.
Avoid Long Wait Times with Dedication Health
While we can’t change the fate of medicine across the country, we do give people in the greater Chicago area access to better care. Situated in Winnetka, Dedication Health is a concierge medical practice. We literally put a cap on the number of patients we accept and limit the number of people we see each day.
When you’re scheduled with us, you’re the only one scheduled with us at that time. There is no in-office waiting. While that may make it sound like you’d have to wait to get an appointment in the first place, you won’t.
Our visits are unrushed, meaning the doctor spends as much time as you need with you at your appointment and addresses all your concerns. As a result, you’ll likely need fewer appointments and won’t need as many urgent appointments either. It’s that simple.
To learn more about or practice or to become a member, contact us online or speak with our practice manager Christine by calling 847-986-6770.
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